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Sum Tracks

  • Currently 4.2/5
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Rating: 4.2/5 (29 votes)
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Sum Tracks

DoraElio Landa's puzzle game Sum Tracks is simple, beautiful, mellow, and all about math, which would normally make me scrunch up my face like someone just brought up politics at a party, but here it's surprisingly... fun? I know, I know... I'm scared and confused too. We'll hold hands. See, the goal here is to take the starting sums you're presented with, which are numbers in black boxes, and drag them across the rows of numbers until their value reaches zero. A black number can move across any adjacent number with a lower value, but numbers you've passed over vanish, so they can't be used more than once, and you have to zero out your total exactly... so if you had a sum of five, for instance, you couldn't move onto a six or higher. Since you're usually working with multiple sums and the game eventually introduces special coloured numbers that can be passed over several times, the game is trickier than it seems and requires a bit of planning besides. Thanks to the "undo last" button in the lower left corner, however, it never gets stressful.

Sum Tracks is basically a perfect example of why people like puzzle games. Not only is it cleanly presented, with a simple but stylish design and a pleasant, unobtrusive soundtrack, but it's thoughtful and cerebral without the gimmicky pressure of time limits or other elements. The game has fourty-five levels you can play in any order you like, and while it never really throws out any new surprises, it doesn't need to either. It's the sort of game that's pretty much perfect and accessible for anyone who likes puzzles, at any age, and any skill level, though there definitely exists the opportunity for a sequel later on to introduce, say, fancy mathematical tiles that multiply or divide your sum as you move across them. As it stands, Sum Tracks is fun, smart puzzling at its finest, as welcome as a cup of your favourite hot beverage in your comfy chair at the end of a long day.

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